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Small Message, Big Impact: The Elevator Speech Effect [Kindle Edition]

Terri L. Sjodin
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $24.95
Kindle Price: $9.99
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Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

 “Whether I’m pitching a potential client or creating a blockbuster ad campaign, I’m always thinking about how to make the message smaller so the impact will be big­ger. Terri Sjodin has codified the science of getting this right.” —Linda Kaplan Thaler, CEO of The Kaplan Thaler Group and best-selling coauthor of The Power of Small and Bang!

You’re at the airport waiting for a flight, burning time by checking your e-mail. Then you spot the CEO of a company you’ve wanted to connect with for ages. He’s also waiting for his flight. Your flight! Should you walk over? What would you say?

We’ve all been there. An opportunity presents itself and you have one chance to share your impor­tant message. The clock is ticking. And in this age of information overload, no business skill is more essential than being able to connect with others quickly, whether in a one-on-one meeting or in front of thousands of people.

Acclaimed speaker and consultant Terri Sjodin defines an elevator speech as a brief presenta­tion that introduces a product, service, or idea. Its purpose isn’t to say everything about your topic—just to intrigue and inspire the listener to want to hear more. And Sjodin suggests you expand your vision of what it can do. “Don’t just think of an elevator speech as a generic tool you use in chance moments—consider the concept as a strategy to manage multiple talking points and to communicate more complex ideas as well.”

Her bestselling book is an entertaining, practical guide to making your message concise, compelling, and effective. She reveals, for instance, how to:

  • Build a convincing case using six of the most consistently effective arguments.
  • Incorporate unique illustrations to bring your message to life.
  • Speak in your own authentic voice; the art is in your delivery!

In this newly updated edition, Sjodin offers her time-tested strategies and advice, including sim­ple outlines, worksheets, a sample elevator speech, evaluation forms, and much more.

Whatever your goal, you can learn to craft a fresh, brief, convincing message that generates tangible results.

Editorial Reviews


“The ability to deliver efficient, effective, and compelling communication is a core value within the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses educational pro­gram. Small Message, Big Impact has been a wonderful resource in supporting the 3 minute rocket pitches within the curriculum we designed for growth-oriented business owners.”

—PATRICIA GREENE, Paul T. Babson Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies and National Academic Director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses Initiative

“We never could have launched our company without a carefully planned elevator speech. Terri Sjodin shows you how to master yours so you can attract investors, market your company, and succeed wherever you go.”

—ALEXANDRA WILKIS WILSON and ALEXIS MAYBANK, cofounders of Gilt and bestselling coauthors of By Invitation Only

“There’s no better way to jump-start your personal brand than with a well-prepared elevator speech. And there’s no better expert to show you how than Terri Sjodin.”

—DAN SCHAWBEL, founder of Millennial Branding and author of Me 2.0

Small Message, Big Impact is an insightful yet practical book. If your job depends on persuading others, you’ll find yourself inhaling the contents and breathing easier because your message will have more traction and you’ll persuade more people to take purposeful action.”

—GERHARD GSCHWANDTNER, founder and publisher, Selling Power magazine

“Whether you’re advocating for a community cause or pitching a business idea, Sjodin’s creative tools provide a framework for speaking with clarity and confidence.”

—ANDREA RENO, Senior Director of Brand Development and Compliance Marketing Communications, YMCA of the USA

Small Message, Big Impact is an easy-to-read, easy-to-apply guide for making a positive first impression and communicating with impact.”

—CATHY McMORRIS RODGERS, U.S. Congresswoman (WA)

About the Author

Terri L. Sjodin is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications, a public speaking, sales training, and consulting firm. For more than twenty years she has served as a speaker and consultant for Fortune 500 compa­nies, industry associations, academic conferences, CEOs, and members of Congress. She lives in Newport Beach, California.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2024 KB
  • Print Length: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio; Revised edition (August 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0094MF5DW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,656 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Especially given the blizzards of communication exchanged electronically in recent years, I agree with Terri L. Sjodin that a "smaller" message not only can but usually does have a "bigger" impact. In fact, there are comparable admonitions such as "think big, act small" (the title of one of Jason Jennings' books), "Swing easy, hit hard" (Julius Boros), and "Less is more" (Robert Browning, in his poem "Andrea del Sarto"). I am also reminded of a bet Ernest Hemingway won in a bar in Paris when he was challenged to write a short story with only six words: "For sale, baby shoes, never worn." Brevity can indeed be, as Shakespeare suggests, "the soul of wit." It can also penetrate clutter and eliminate ambiguity.

Sjodin organizes and presents her material within 12 brief chapters and, while doing so, demonstrates how much meaning can be conveyed with both precision and concision. In the last chapter, Chapter 12, she poses and then responds ("with nuggets of advice and answers) to frequently asked questions. She thus shares a wealth of information, insights, and counsel to help each reader to communicate more effectively, whatever the given circumstances -- audience, content, format, strategic objective(s), etc. - may be. During the course of her lively and eloquent narrative, she explains

o How and why "The Elevator Speech + The Butterfly Effect = The Elevator Speech Effect"
o How specifically the Elevator Speech can communicate a small message that could have a large impact
o How to determine, clarify, and then articulate intentions (e.g. strategic objectives)
o How to formulate a basic core outline
o How to make a strong case, use illustrations effectively, and deliver a message with high-impact
o How to build a persuasive case (i.e.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Small Ideas, Big Page Count August 4, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is not a book intended to help you create snappier elevator pitches, but a 200 page brochure for the author's training practice.

The first 60 pages are devoted to Terri's background, including a story of how she snagged a sales appointment with a big client and then trying to whet our appetite to learn more about elevator pitches by lecturing on how important they are (we know, that's why we bought the book. Get on with it!)

When she does get on with it, she breezes through the instructional nuggets carelessly, spouting not deep wisdom based on expertise but worn-out ideas you could read on any blog. Chapters about how to capture the audience's attention are short, with an inane list of techniques like tell a story or share a startling statistic. Ideas like this are too small to fill a chapter, so she adds a lot of stories (often based on TV shows - she appears to watch a lot of TV!) and side comments to stretch a simple idea to cover 10 pages.

There is very little attempt to build practice examples into the book so you finish each chapter not knowing how to do anything different. The examples she uses are either generalized, so you cannot model them, or are clearly boring and inept - like a three-minute talking brochure.

I was deeply disappointed by the lackluster effort on this one. Packaging ideas is a challenge that requires a deep understanding of rhetoric, human motivation, storytelling and so on. Terri's ideas are an inch deep. Don't buy this book. You'll be disappointed and won't learn anything you can actually use.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Small Message, Big Impact is one of the true game-changer books of 2012. Whether you're speaking to a theater full of people, a room full of board executives, or even someone you meet in the elevator, you need to understand how to effectively present a compelling message - and it needs to be one that generates real results.

Terri Sjodin outlines the tools and skills you need to perfect in order to master the art of the elevator speech effect. According to Sjodin, "an elevator speech is a brief presentation that introduces a product, service, philosophy or idea. Its general purpose is to intrigue and inspire a listener to want to hear more of the presenter's complete proposition in the near future." She gives you everything you need to know to make the most of what may only be thirty seconds with someone to make an impact.

This book is a differentiator you need to separate yourself from the competitive herd. If you're serious about improving your presentation skills, sales skills, and creating influence in todays market - get the book and devour it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Terri has nailed it!
Best book on the planet for anyone that speaks or presents.
Small Message Big Impact is my go to book before any speech or presentation.
It is must have book in helping you grow your career and become a clear communicator both professional and personally.
Terri also delivers some amazing training if you ever have the chance to have her come to you company and present.

Randy Garn

Best Selling Author, Speaker, Entrepreneur
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read! September 16, 2013
By Greg H
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved every page of this book. Most people tend to talk so much and say so little. This book demonstrates how to talk "little" and say much. The message is so needed. This book will dramatically improve your ability to communicate effectively. Buy this book and read it today. You'll be glad you did.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Great format to create a concise, clear, and impactful message.
Published 4 months ago by Keith Irby
3.0 out of 5 stars it's okay
This book was okay. It makes a great case for why you need to have your talking points ready to go if there's a project that you're passionate about. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Spacefem
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 STARS ALL THE WAY!!!!
About a year ago, I was given the opportunity to hear Terri Sjodin speak at my company's National Sales Meeting. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Courtney Schlenker
1.0 out of 5 stars none informative for my business
waste of my time and money has nothing to do with assisting me in the realestate
business not a good choice for me
Published 10 months ago by Theresa H.
5.0 out of 5 stars Loaded with relatable examples
I really enjoyed reading "Small Message, Big Impact." I felt the book was loaded with relatable examples on how and why you need an elevator speech in today's competitive market. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Sheryl Dreiling
3.0 out of 5 stars Good content, author's writing style not preferred for me
The author shares good insights into how an "Elevator Speech" can be an effective tool. Checklists and forms are presented to help making craft your elevator speech easier. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Douglas Cranmer
3.0 out of 5 stars Short and 'Sweet'
Short is good, to the point is good.
The 'Sweet' is what is more concerning, more practice oriented approach would have been better and it would turn the book from being... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Aniket Vast
3.0 out of 5 stars a great refresher.
the sales industry has been working on this type of idea for a while, so it was a great refresher of what i need to keep on my mind
Published on February 23, 2013 by Barbara Curl
3.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I don't believe in elevator speeches, they don't work like they use too in my opinion but it is still a good book and you will learn alot.
Published on December 5, 2012 by ROSE FOREY
4.0 out of 5 stars A different approach to presentations.
Much of the information is basic stuff. Some new and novel ways of organizing your thoughts. This would be a good start for newbies to group presentations.
Published on November 13, 2012 by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Terri Sjodin is the principal and founder of Sjodin Communications.

She is one of America's most highly sought after female speakers and has trained and motivated thousands of people from all over the world. Her unique specialization is advancing the persuasive presentation skills of professionals. She is the author of the national bestselling book, Small Message, Big Impact (Penguin/Portfolio), which hit the New York Times' Hardcover Advice & Misc. bestseller list, Wall Street Journal Hardcover Business bestseller list, and USA Today Money bestseller list.

She is also the author of the highly acclaimed books, "NEW SALES SPEAK - The 9 Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them" (John Wiley & Sons), and co-author of Mentoring - A Success Guide for Mentors and Protégés, co-written with Floyd Wickman (McGraw-Hill).

Over 20 years ago, Terri went into business for herself, building Sjodin Communications in Orange County, CA from a spare room in her home. Today, Terri's clients include an impressive list of Fortune 500 companies, industry associations, and academic conferences. Her consulting practice has taken her from her house, to the US House of Representatives, where she has served as a keynote speaker for the US House of Representatives GOP Retreat addressing approximately 235 Congressmen and Women. This has led to additional invitations to present and coach leadership on The Hill including the House Republican Press Secretary Conference, the prestigious Heritage Foundation Resource Bank event, and the House GOP Retreat in 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012.

In July of 2012, Terri was inducted into the NSA Speaker Hall of Fame. Admission into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame is a lifetime award for speaking excellence and professionalism. Inductees are evaluated by their peers through a rigorous and demanding process. Each candidate must excel in seven categories: material, style, experience, delivery, image, professionalism and communication.

In June of 2007, Terri was named one of the top five Women in Business by the Orange County Business Journal at the distinguished WIB awards. This award is presented in recognition of exceptional professional accomplishments, including business success, contributions to industry, and the Orange County community.

Beyond her success as an entrepreneur and author, Terri is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows throughout the country appearing on CNN, CNBC, and many major network affiliates from ABC, CBS, and NBC, FOX, cable and radio.

In August of 1999, Terri received the prestigious CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) designation. Less than 7% of the 5,000 speakers who belong to the International Federation for Professional Speakers hold this professional designation.

Terri serves on the Orange County Board of Trustees for Olive Crest. Olive Crest is dedicated to preventing child abuse, to treating and educating at-risk children and to preserving the family one life at a time.

Terri graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Speech Communication. Before forming her own company, Terri was a top sales producer with both The Achievement Group and Resource Dynamics.

Her combination of academic communication theory, field research, and practical street sales experience collected during thousands of coast-to-coast business presentations cast Terri in the leading role of advising today's professionals on becoming more polished, persuasive presenters and adapting to the changing marketplace.

Terri is a "high content" speaker - Her approach is fresh, real-world, and her style is sassy and practical. Each presentation is loaded with street-worthy ideas, methods, and tips that men and women can use immediately to get results. Many consider Terri to be today's sales professionals' speech coach.


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